How to reduce separation anxiety in puppies

how to reduce separation anxiety in puppies

Separation Anxiety

Apr 21,  · Separation anxiety in puppies and dogs isn’t always preventable, despite your best efforts. And once SA has taken hold, it can be a complicated process to treat. Jun 16,  · Conditioning: In some cases, you can try to relieve his anxiety by teaching him that separation has its rewards. Right now, he’s conditioned to .

Separation anxiety SA can be one of them. Understanding and recognizing SA will prepare you to do all you can to prevent the condition as well as to address it at the first signs.

Whether in a puppy or an adult dog, separation anxiety is when your dog exhibits extreme stress from the time you leave hoa alone until you return. Patricia McConnellPh. Puppy trainingsocializationseparaton training, how to use automation in cubase teaching your puppy how to pkppies being alone all contribute.

Therefore, many of the recommendations here are things you are already doing how to reduce separation anxiety in puppies have done. That said, SA does present some unique challenges. Separation anxiety is a serious condition, and it goes beyond the occasional mournful whimper when you leave the house or the shredded sepagation waiting for you upon your return. Dogs can exhibit stress in many ways, so there is no one defining sign of SA.

Instead, there are a variety of symptoms. One or two of them, especially if they only happen occasionally, may not be a sign of puppy separation spearation. But if your puppy shows multiple symptoms on a regular basis, he may be suffering from SA.

Here are some how to get rid of mouth ulcers naturally your dog may exhibit:. Sadly, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Scienceseveral of the above symptoms are also some of the most common reasons owners get rid of their dogs.

McConnell theorizes there may be several reasons, including never previously being left alone and traumatic separation, such as would be seen in some abandoned shelter dogs. Finally, she suggests that personality can play a role, with clingy dogs perhaps being more pjppies risk than independent ones. Recent research has even pointed to a lack of daily exercise as a possible cause. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to deal with SA. But consider all of them as you tackle SA.

Look at the following methods of treatment:. And once SA has taken hold, it puuppies be a complicated process to treat. Puppis working with a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a veterinary behaviorist to help smooth the process. However, as serious as this condition may be, McConnell assures it has a high rate of treatment success. Compare Breeds Compare up to 5 different breeds side by side. Dog Name Finder Browse our extensive library of dog names for inspiration.

Find out the best and worst foods for your dog and which to avoid. Additional Resources AKC. Get Started in Dog Training. Clubs Offering: Training Classes. Apr 21, 6 Minutes. What is Puppy Separation Anxiety? Reducs Partnership with. Find Your Perfect Home. Puppy Socialization Socializing your dog in an important step in raising a balanced and happy dog.

Not sure where to start? Download this e-book for some tips. AKC Privacy Policy. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. For all AKC Newsletters, click here. Redufe You. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter akc. Founded inthe AKC is the recognized and trusted fo in breed, health, and training information for dogs.

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What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Pets should never be punished for any anxiety-based behavior because punishment makes it worse. If your puppy exhibits destructive separation behaviors, you can take steps to reduce the problem. Your veterinarian may prescribe drug therapy that relieves the angst, such as Clomacalm (clomipramine hydrochloride) or Reconcile (Prozac or fluoxetine). Nov 16,  · Introduce pre-departure cues at times when you aren’t leaving the house. Cues like putting on your shoes, picking up your keys, or even putting on makeup could become triggers for your dog’s separation anxiety. To combat that, grab your shoes and keys at random times of the day and simply head to the other room or sit on the couch. Punishing your puppy will not eliminate separation anxiety. Gradually adjusting your puppy to being alone is the best approach. Preventing Separation Anxiety. It’s good for your puppy to be comfortable when home alone. You can help him learn this by taking a little time and following these simple steps. Start as soon as your puppy comes home, if possible. Puppies like routine.

Skip to content. One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. Instead, they are indications that the dog has separation anxiety. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.

Some dogs suffering from separation anxiety become agitated when their guardians prepare to leave. Some try to prevent their guardians from leaving. Usually, right after a guardian leaves a dog with separation anxiety, the dog will begin barking and displaying other distress behaviors within a short time after being left alone—often within minutes. This is accomplished by setting things up so that the dog experiences the situation that provokes his anxiety, namely being alone, without experiencing fear or anxiety.

Urinating and Defecating Some dogs urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from their guardians. Barking and Howling A dog who has separation anxiety might bark or howl when left alone or when separated from his guardian. Chewing, Digging and Destruction Some dogs with separation anxiety chew on objects, door frames or window sills, dig at doors and doorways, or destroy household objects when left alone or separated from their guardians.

These behaviors can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped paws and damaged nails. The dog might attempt to dig and chew through doors or windows, which could result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails.

Pacing Some dogs walk or trot along a specific path in a fixed pattern when left alone or separated from their guardians. Some pacing dogs move around in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines.

Coprophagia When left alone or separated from their guardians, some dogs defecate and then consume all or some of their excrement. There is no conclusive evidence showing exactly why dogs develop separation anxiety.

Other less dramatic changes can also trigger the disorder. The following is a list of situations that have been associated with development of separation anxiety. Change of Guardian or Family Being abandoned, surrendered to a shelter or given to a new guardian or family can trigger the development of separation anxiety.

Change in Schedule An abrupt change in schedule in terms of when or how long a dog is left alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety. Change in Residence Moving to a new residence can trigger the development of separation anxiety. Change in Household Membership The sudden absence of a resident family member, either due to death or moving away, can trigger the development of separation anxiety.

Sometimes they void urine while asleep. Medications There are a number of medications that can cause frequent urination and house soiling. If your dog takes any medications, please contact his veterinarian to find out whether or not they might contribute to his house-soiling problems.

Some common behavior problems can cause similar symptoms. Submissive or Excitement Urination Some dogs may urinate during greetings, play, physical contact or when being reprimanded or punished. Such dogs tend to display submissive postures during interactions, such as holding the tail low, flattening the ears back against the head, crouching or rolling over and exposing the belly.

Incomplete House Training A dog who occasionally urinates in the house might not be completely house trained. His house training might have been inconsistent or it might have involved punishment that made him afraid to eliminate while his owner is watching or nearby. A dog scent marks by urinating small amounts on vertical surfaces. Most male dogs and some female dogs who scent mark raise a leg to urinate.

Please see our articles, Destructive Chewing , for more information about these problems. Excessive Barking or Howling Some dogs bark or howl in response to various triggers in their environments, like unfamiliar sights and sounds. For more information about this kind of problem, please see our articles, Barking and Howling. Treatment for Mild Separation Anxiety If your dog has a mild case of separation anxiety, counterconditioning might reduce or resolve the problem.

Over time, the dog learns that whatever he fears actually predicts good things for him. For dogs with separation anxiety, counterconditioning focuses on developing an association between being alone and good things, like delicious food. To develop this kind of association, every time you leave the house, you can offer your dog a puzzle toy stuffed with food that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish.

You can feed your dog all of his daily meals in special toys. For example, you can give your dog a KONG or two stuffed with his breakfast and some tasty treats every morning before going to work. Treatment for Moderate to Severe Separation Anxiety Moderate or severe cases of separation anxiety require a more complex desensitization and counterconditioning program.

The following steps briefly describe a desensitization and counterconditioning program. Please keep in mind that this is a short, general explanation.

Desensitization and counterconditioning are complex and can be tricky to carry out. Fear must be avoided or the procedure will backfire and the dog will get more frightened. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help , to locate one of these experts in your area. Step One: Predeparture Cues As mentioned above, some dogs begin to feel anxious while their guardians get ready to leave. For example, a dog might start to pace, pant and whine when he notices his guardian applying makeup, putting on shoes and a coat, and then picking up a bag or car keys.

You can do this by exposing your dog to these cues in various orders several times a day—without leaving. For example, put on your boots and coat, and then just watch TV instead of leaving. Or pick up your keys, and then sit down at the kitchen table for awhile. Please be aware, though, that your dog has many years of learning the significance of your departure cues, so in order to learn that the cues no longer predict your long absences, your dog must experience the fake cues many, many times a day for many weeks.

The main rule is to plan your absences to be shorter than the time it takes for your dog to become upset. To get started, train your dog to perform out-of-sight stays by an inside door in the home, such as the bathroom.

You can teach your dog to sit or down and stay while you go to the other side of the bathroom door. You can also contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer for assistance.

You can also work on getting your dog used to predeparture cues as you practice the stay. For example, ask your dog to stay. Then put on your coat, pick up your purse and go into the bathroom while your dog continues to stay. A Necessary Component of Separation Anxiety Treatment During desensitization to any type of fear, it is essential to ensure that your dog never experiences the full-blown version of whatever provokes his anxiety or fear.

This means that during treatment for separation anxiety, your dog cannot be left alone except during your desensitization sessions. Fortunately there are plenty of alternative arrangements:. In addition to your graduated absences exercises, all greetings hellos and goodbyes should be conducted in a very calm manner.

When saying goodbye, just give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. To Crate or Not to Crate? Crate training can be helpful for some dogs if they learn that the crate is their safe place to go when left alone.

However, for other dogs, the crate can cause added stress and anxiety. Instead of using a crate, you can try confining your dog to one room behind a baby gate. To keep your dog busy and happy, try the following suggestions:.

Medications Might Help Always consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before giving your dog any type of medication for a behavior problem. The use of medications can be very helpful, especially for severe cases of separation anxiety.

Anti-anxiety medication can help a dog tolerate some level of isolation without experiencing anxiety. It can also make treatment progress more quickly.

On rare occasions, a dog with mild separation anxiety might benefit from drug therapy alone, without accompanying behavior modification. However, most dogs need a combination of medication and behavior modification. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help , to locate one of these professionals in your area. Anxious behaviors are not the result of disobedience or spite. They are distress responses! If you punish him, he may become even more upset and the problem could get much worse.

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